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Q&A with our friend Ryan

Q&A with our friend Ryan

Meet our friend Ryan, Ornot

Over the years, we've had the pleasure of getting to know Ryan better through rides in the city and around his new home in Los Angeles. Hailing from Pacifica, just south of San Francisco, Ryan consistently impresses us with his boundless optimism and upbeat personality. As if that weren't enough, Ryan also works as a high school teacher, specializing in at-risk youth. It's a rewarding job, but we can only imagine how demanding it can be. Nevertheless, we suspect that Ryan's early morning bike rides serve as an essential outlet for him, helping him maintain his sanity and positive outlook on life.

Give us the TL;DR on who you are.

I'm a husband, father, and high school teacher in Pasadena, CA and I'm passionate about riding bikes.

What sparked your passion for cycling?

Bikes have always been part of my life from exploring my neighborhood with my brothers to commuting to work. But I got really “into” cycling because of this gnarly injury I got playing in an Adult Flag Football League. During the playoffs, I broke my leg and tore a few ligaments in my ankle. That was a turning point for me because my buddy Connor suggested I start riding with him to rehab and that led me to rediscover my love for cycling.

What's your can't-miss climb in LA?

Top of Josephine Peak (Strava route) in the San Gabriels! It’s a super fun climb and the 360 views at the top are incredible.

What motivates you to get out the door and onto your bike?

This question should feel easy to answer but it's not. There are so many things I draw on when my alarm sounds at 4:00 am. Sometimes it's the haters. Sometimes I ride to let the hate out of my heart because I want to prove something to all those who counted me out. Sometimes I ride because it’s the only time I have to get out to be by myself, unplug from the anxieties of life, and be present in my body. Sometimes it’s the only time I have to connect with the homies. But probably the main thing I chase when I ride is resolution. There is something about being able to work through the pain of a climb/ride and seeing that pain subside and resolve itself. This resolution, this small accomplishment, is what I jump on my bike for.

Aside from riding your bike, what other sports and activities are you into?

I could share about how I am trying to get back into running, my stretching routine, Brad Pitt’s “Fight Club” ab workout or how cool my new bowflex dumbbells are, but really the coolest activity other than cycling that I do is hiking with my family.  It has been so cool to see my kids’ love for the outdoors grow. A simple hike in the San Gabriels will spark a million different conversations about animals and insects for weeks. Cultivating their love and respect for the world around them feels urgent and deeply important. And it is priceless to see their smiles grow bigger and bigger as they discover new beauty in this world.

You've been riding in Ornot gear for a while, what are some of your favorite pieces?

My favorite all-time piece is the Micro Climate Jacket for its versatility with the Grid Thermal Jerseys coming in as a close second. My current favorites are the Cargo Bibs and Micro Climate Vest.